Treatment of ankle fractures depends upon the type and severity of the injury. At first, the foot and ankle surgeon will want you to follow the R.I.C.E. protocol:
- R est: Stay off the injured ankle. Walking may cause further injury.
- I ce: Apply an ice pack to the injured area, placing a thin towel between the ice and the skin. Use ice for 20 minutes and then wait at least 40 minutes before icing again.
- C ompression: An elastic wrap should be used to control swelling.
- E levation: The ankle should be raised slightly above the level of your heart to reduce swelling.
Additional treatment options include:
- Immobilization. Certain fractures are treated by protecting and restricting the ankle and foot in a cast or splint. This allows the bone to heal.
- Prescription medications. To help relieve the pain, the surgeon may prescribe pain medications or anti-inflammatory drugs.
When is Surgery Needed?
For some ankle fractures, surgery is needed to repair the fracture and other soft tissue related injuries, if present. The foot and ankle surgeon will select the procedure that is appropriate for your injury.
It is important to follow your surgeon’s instructions after treatment. Failure to do so can lead to infection, deformity, arthritis, and chronic pain.